Friday, 29 June 2012

Long day of hold ups

Not as bad as it sounds......we mean to go slowly so what are a few hold ups?  besides which the rain was only intermittent and so much less heavy than yesterday...a positive bonus.
We made an early start (8am) with Barney and I setting off for our early walk but this was soon thwarted as there was a swan either nesting or injured right in the middle of the tow path.   It had been in exactly the same place last night and I had no intention of trying to walk past with Barney so Geoff had to pull in and collect us.
Soon after setting off we passed this bridge with an interesting design, note the blue sky.  This was before it clouded over and the rain came back!
Seen from a distance the sides of this boat may look like a bad paint job, but in fact are all interesting paintings.  When we saw it going along yesterday the skipper was covered in tattoos, he obviously likes covering things up!  A bit like dogs looking like their owners......
Later we saw Bisou, with Patricia and Nick, moored so decided to pull in and have coffee and a catch up.....thwarted again, the bank was too shallow for us.  They have much less ballast than us so didn't have a problem.  

Soon afterwards we passed this badly tied up contractors boat
Then an even worse pair of BW work boats.  
This caused more of a problem as we could not get ashore.   We phoned BW but before anyone arrived a boat came from the other direction and he was able to get on and move it a bit so we could edge up and push it out of the way.  Slightly tricky as it was shallow on the right.  One of his mooring lines had snapped which is hardly surprising as they seem to use very thin bits of rope...more like big string!!
At the next lock there was a queue and lo and behold 3 BW boats double banked on the lock waiting pontoon!!!  Since there were boats coming down the lock as well, with only a narrow gap to get through, we all had to hang back and hover.......and there was a very fresh wind blowing!
Eventually reached Stone which was our intended destination.  There was not any room on the lower mooring so we had to go through a couple more locks.  At the top of the second lock we stopped for fuel at the canal Cruising Company and were not impressed with the price.  Non Tax 95p and he would only accept a 60/40 split making it £1.20.....full price £1.39.   Since I had recently read Iron Butterfly's blog where Pam said they found it at Wheaton Aston for 70.9p (non tax)   I must say 70.9 seems very low so do wonder if it is a misprint for 90.9??  Have emailed her to find out.  Since we are going so slowly and not very far, my spread sheet gives our split as 30/70
Barney is still enjoying his travels we think but does not like going below when we are travelling.  
However when moored he does like his comfort and toys
8.93 miles, 7 locks, 6 hrs 3 min

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